• Press Release

AIUSA Statement on Islamophobia and the Senate Torture Report

December 9, 2015

Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty International USA’s Security and Human Rights Program, released the following statement:

“We learned one year ago today that U.S. personnel tortured detainees as part of the CIA’s secret detention program. The revelations came in the summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s groundbreaking report on torture.

“The current political climate of anti-Muslim fear-mongering and politically driven hysteria over terrorism puts the U.S. at risk of seeing a return to torture under a subsequent administration. With political candidates proposing revival of the torture program, it’s vital that the Obama administration openly support a reckoning with these past actions. Instead, the Senate torture report, and the truth about what was done in the name of all Americans, are at risk of being erased.

“The full 6,700 page report remains locked away – unread – in government vaults. No investigations are underway, and no one has been held accountable for torture.

“The Justice Department has barred officials from reading the report, and Sen. Richard Burr, chair of the Intelligence Committee, has demanded that all copies of the report be returned. This is a blatant attempt to erase the recent history of torture and other abuses committed in the name of U.S. security.

“The crimes detailed in the public portion of the report include mock executions, simulated drowning, sexual assault and more. One detainee, Gul Rahman, froze to death while being tortured, and others have devastating injuries that persist to this day.

“If the Obama administrations is serious about closing the door to torture by another administration, it should commit to reviewing the Senate report. The Attorney General should reopen and expand investigations into torture and prosecute those who violated the law. Only by providing accountability today can such abuses be prevented in the future.

Amnesty International released a report today on the case of Gul Rahman, who froze to death while being interrogated by U.S. personnel in Afghanistan. The new report – available here – provides details on Rahman’s mistreatment and efforts by the Obama administration to effectively bury the Senate torture report.